Stuart Braithwaite: 'You need strong ankles to go see the Cure'

Stuart Braithwaite: 'You need strong ankles to go see the Cure'

credit: Andy Vella

Mogwai's Stuart Braithwaite talks about his passion for the Cure and why it's an honour to support them at Glasgow Summer Sessions

I got into music through my big sister and the Cure were her favourite band. Growing up they meant everything to me. There's a real universality to their music, for me they were the band I could turn to for all sorts of things, whether I was feeling really good or really bad. They were my band.

It's very honest music, very dreamy, it has something unique, it can go from being really melancholic to being really celebratory. A lot of bands have great miserable songs or great joyous songs but the Cure manage to cover it all.

They were also the first band I ever saw live, on the Disintegration tour [1989], arguably their best record. It was really special and had a profound impact on me. I remember it vividly; they started with 'Plainsong', the first track from Disintegration, and it was an incredible experience. They also played for a long time, which is kind of their trademark. I didn't realise most bands only play for an hour or 90 minutes. You need strong ankles to go see the Cure.

You don't need to listen very hard to see the Cure's influence on our music. Disintegration was the first record I fell in love with and, along with a few other records, it was part of the blueprint of what Mogwai have become musically, that sprawled-out melancholy atmosphere.

I'm still a massive fan but obviously the relationship has changed because they're a band we've played with quite a lot and I consider [frontman] Robert [Smith] a friend. It's slightly surreal because when you're younger, you think of people like that as being more than human, but at the end of the day everyone is just a normal person. But I still absolutely love them and really love their music.

I'm really grateful for all the help Robert has given Mogwai over the years. He's been really supportive and championed us. Asking us to play this gig in Glasgow is a huge honour. It will be the most people we've ever played to in Scotland by a long way, and one of the biggest shows we've ever done. It's also amazing how they've helped out the Twilight Sad [who are also on the bill] by proxy, because we are putting their records out [via Mogwai's Rock Action label], and they are really good friends of ours, and it just shows what a champion he is of new music.

Robert is really into details. He listens back to every show, and remember they play for hours and hours and hours. They aren't one of these bands that will take anyone on tour that their booking agent suggests – they take everything about their shows very seriously. So he will have really thought about and considered the bill for Glasgow [as well as Mogwai and the Twilight Sad, the line-up also includes the Joy Formidable].

It's fantastic to see them playing Scotland again. I was actually at their last Scottish show when they did two nights at the Playhouse in Edinburgh [1992]. I've no idea why it's been so long. It's almost a cliché but Glasgow is such a great place for live music, people are really receptive and like having a good time. I think it's going to be a special night.

The Cure headline Glasgow Summer Sessions, supported by Mogwai, Bellahouston Park, Fri 16 Aug.

Glasgow Summer Sessions

Annual series of concerts held every August at Bellahouston Park. The 2019 line up includes the Foo Fighters, The Cure, Mogwai, The Twilight Sad, The Joy Formidable and The 1975.

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